Archive for April, 2013

Techie Tip of the Week: PivotTable Basics

Friday, April 26th, 2013

PivotTables are used to organize and summarize data in numeric form. If you have a large Excel spreadsheet with lots of information stored in it, a PivotTable can make the data easier to comprehend and manage.


To create a PivotTable:

  1. Select a cell in your spreadsheet.
  2. In Excel 2007, 2010, or 2013, click Insert, and then click PivotTable.
    In Excel 2008 or 2011, click Data, and then click PivotTable.
  3. Select the range of data you wish to be included in your PivotTable. Then, choose where you wish the PivotTable to be displayed (a new Worksheet or an existing Worksheet). Click OK.
  4. Select the fields you wish to be included in your Pivot by dragging them to the Row, Column, and Values sections. Be sure to put numeric data in the Values. The Report Filter can be used as a way of further filtering out the data.


For example, from this spreadsheet (fake data taken from the Sample Human Resources Report found in ReportMart1):


the following PivotTable was created by dragging the Salary to Values, the Dept Name to Column, and the Range to Row:


And this PivotTable was created by dragging the Dept Name into Column, the Employee Number into Values (changing it from Sum to Count by clicking the i button), and Range and Job Title to Row:


Techie Tip of the Week: Place and Manipulate Objects in PowerPoint

Friday, April 19th, 2013
PowerPoint allows you great flexibility in terms of manipulating where objects (e.g., text boxes, pictures, and drawings) will appear on the screen. These tips will help you use the object and drawing functions more effectively.
  1. To align multiple objects so they line up precisely using the Drawing toolbar:
    1. Make sure that the Drawing toolbar is checked. Under View, select ToolbarsDrawing should have a check to the left.
    2. Hold down the shift key while selecting the objects you wish to align.
    3. In the Drawing toolbar, under Drawchoose Align/Distribute and select the desired Alignment/Distribution.
  2. To align objects using Snap To, Grids, andGuides:
    • In the Drawing toolbar, under Draw, selectGrid and Guidelines.
    • To display the grid, check the box Display grid on screen.
    • To snap objects to the grid, check the boxSnap objects to grid. Objects will now snap to the grid when they are moved around.
  3. To move an object very precisely, by “nudging” it:
    • Select the object you wish to “nudge”.
    • On your keyboard, use the arrow keys to move the object. Hold down the control key, if you want even more control. The object will move in increments of 0.02 inches!
  4. To connect two objects with a drawn line:

    • In the Drawing toolbar, underAutoShapes, select Connectors, and choose the desired connector.
    • Move the mouse to the first object until you see a blue dot. Click to create a connection point.
    • Drag the mouse to the second object to create a connecting line. Click when you see the blue dot on the second object. The two objects are now connected.
  5. To group multiple objects together:
    • Hold down the shift key while selecting the objects you wish to group.
    • In the Drawing toolbar, under Draw, choose Group. The objects are now grouped, and can be moved, resized, or otherwise manipulated together.
  6. To change the order of objects that are on top of one another:
    • Select the object whose order you want to change.
    • In the Drawing toolbar, under Draw, choose Order and then the desired order (e.g., Send Backward, or Bring to Front).
  7. To create a text box, under the Insert menu, choose Text Box.
  8. To modify an existing text box:
    1. To resize the text box, select the box and click and drag the dot in the middle of the border (sizing handles) to the desired size. Dragging the corner will resize both the height and width; holding down the Shift key while resizing will retain the ratio between the height and width.
    2. To modify the content of a text box, select the box’s border twice — the border will change from diagonal lines to dots. Once selected, you can modify the text box’s content:
      1. To change the font, under Format, choose Font. Select the desired font changes (font face, style, size, color, and/or effects) and click OK.
      2. To move a text box, click and drag the box to the desired location.
      3. To change text box’s format, double-click the border.
        • In the tab Color and Lines, you can change the text box’s Fill,Lines, and/or Arrows styles.
        • In the tab Size, you can change the text box’s size and rotation and scale (height and width).
        • In the tab Position, you can change the location of the text box in the slide.
        • In the tab Text Box, you can change the anchor point of the text (top/middle/bottom), as well as the internal margins of the text box.

Techie Tip of the Week: Watch the IT Services Tech Training Drupal Videos!

Friday, April 12th, 2013

Confused about what Drupal and other Content Management Systems are? Want clarification on how to update content on a Drupal site? Curious about how you can install a Drupal instance on the Stanford servers? IT Services Tech Training has the solution!

A few months ago, we put together a series of videos answering these questions — each is about 5 minutes long. Enjoy!


What is a CMS? –

What Is Drupal? (and why should my Stanford group use it?) –

Drupal at Stanford: Editing and Creating Content –

Drupal at Stanford – Installing –

Techie Tip of the Week: Installing Drupal or WordPress Themes on Stanford’s Web Servers

Friday, April 5th, 2013

If you’re using the Collaboration Tools Installer or manually installing a Drupal or WordPress site on Stanford’s AFS servers, you may have wondered how you can update existing or install new themes, since you can’t do so directly within the application.

Here’s how:

1) Download the theme to your Desktop.

2) Unzip the theme.

3) Open an SFTP program like SecureFX or Fetch, log in, and change the plugin directory for your Drupal or WP instance:

For Drupal:
The directory should be something like “/afs/ir/group/groupname/cgi-bin/drupaldirectory/sites/all/themes”  (substitute groupname for your real group name; drupaldirectory for your real Drupal directory name)

For WordPress:
The directory should be something like “/afs/ir/group/groupname/cgi-bin/wordpressdirectory/wp-content/themes” (substitute groupname for your real group name; wordpressdirectory for your real WP directory name)

4)  Activate/Enable the theme:

  • For Drupal:
    Launch a web browser and log into your Drupal site.
    Go to administer > site building > themes and then check the Enabled box next to the desired theme.
  • For WordPress:
    Launch a web browser and log into your WordPress site.
    Go to Appearance > Themes and then click Activate underneath to the desired theme.

Your new theme is now active on your site!